The recent block of National and Area Championships has taken its toll on some of Blackheath & Bromley’s athletes and this, combined with subsequent International selections and the clash with the English Schools contributed to the Club fielding a weaker than normal squad for the latest UK Womens League Premier Division match at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.

Fielding just twelve athletes made it difficult to cover all the A and B strings given there is a maximum of three individual events permitted. This meant that the team scored 20 points in B string events out of a possible 135, the same amount as the Club was awarded for providing the requisite number of officials.

It was no surprise, therefore, the team finished in last place on the day in a division that contains the top eight teams in the country. They are now bottom of the table with one match remaining and need a good result at Eton on the 8th of August to avoid being one of the two teams that are relegated.

That they can achieve this is beyond doubt if they field athletes such as Shaunagh Brown. She had her usual busy day in the throws finishing second in the discus with a distance of 47.71; third in the shot (13.53) and fourth in the hammer (55.36), thus contributing 20% of the points scored by the athletes on the day.

There were plenty of other spirited efforts which led to five personal best and eight seasons bests by the end of the afternoon. Montell Douglas improved on last weeks British Trials as she finished second in the 100 metres in 11.77 before timing 24.55 in the 200. Grace Sheppard also ran a seasons best in the B string 200 to add to her fifth place in the A 100 and the two joined Rachel Dickens and Sonia Woolhouse to finish fifth in the 4x100 metres.

Rachel had earlier come fifth in the 400 metres and she and Sonia were also in action again in the 4x400 with Kelly Grant and Carole Penlington. This was Kelly’s debut for the team and she scored good points in the A string 800 and 1500 metre races placing fifth in close finishes. B string in these was Charlotte Rhule who set seasons bests in both as well as a personal best as she helped out in the long jump.

Carole also set a seasons best of 10.34.53 in the 3000 metres and, despite her efforts in the Masters League just two days before, was also in action in the javelin. Bethany Frost ran a seasons best in the 2000 metres steeplechase to finish fourth.

In the field Helena Coleman was fifth in a good standard pole vault contest with an outdoor best of 3.40 and she also threw a best in the javelin producing the longest distance by a first claim Senior or Junior this season. Sonia Woolhouse was in action again in the B string vault clearing 2.50 and she also ran in the short and long hurdles races.

Robyn Pettit was another who had a busy afternoon competing in the high, long and triple jumps and setting a personal best in the latter. So too did Abigail Kingston in the 400 metres following her run in the 400 hurdles.

It was not enough to save them on the day but the individual points scored in Birmingham could prove vital should teams be level on League points after the last fixture and placings are decided on match points.

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